A word of caution: think twice before lighting a fire in the forest. We spent most of Saturday May 15 extinguishing a smoldering camp fire with the help of BC Wildfire Service and volunteers from our recreation clubs. The hot spot was reported near the Wardner viewpoint above Kaslo. This forested area is on a south-east facing, hot and steep slope which abuts directly to residences in upper Kaslo. The lower to mid elevation landscape has received very little snow during the winter and is already unseasonably dry. We fortunately have created motorized access into this area during our wildfire risk reduction work last fall and this spring. The primary objective of our landscape level wildfire planning is to improve the speed of response for water delivery. This area is in a very high risk zone, which lacks natural water sources.
Even in a deeply dug fire pit hot air vents between the larger stones, and ignites a connected web of roots, which smolder underground to other places. The rocks themselves store heat for a long time. Even on an overcast day, your fire may ignite ‘fuses’ underground. We check our winter pile burns in the spring for this reason, as they may flare up again after months of cold weather. This was the case just recently with one of our January burn spots in our Schroeder Creek project, which had to be water saturated and dug up by Stan Baker’s excavator. Please don’t take any chances this year, the drought indices are off the charts already. Plan your fires where you have ample water and tools to extinguish them properly.